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Friday, December 21, 2012
If the postings on Twitter are a good barometer of how the majority feel (and I’ll admit often they aren’t) Sunday night’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards were too Olympic heavy for some.
While I felt it was simply joyous to be able to gorge in such a fantastic year, others were claiming it didn’t put enough focus on other sports.
In a year when England once again failed to deliver at a major tournament, they surely weren’t talking about football.
For those wishing for more mentions of our national game, do not despair, because there’s always the Norwich City Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 to enjoy – well, there is now as I’ve decided to make them up.
It has been another fantastic year to be a Norwich City fan – so the least the coaching staff, board, players and fans deserve is something to honour that.
Clearly this event has to be hosted at Carrow Road – and the host has to be the one and only Chris Goreham, contractually obliged to front up all Norwich City-related events.
Times are tough, so I must apologise if those chosen to hand out these awards are a little z-list. It is, after all, the winners who count.
But first we need to fill time in a way that only awards shows can, by playing uplifting music over clips of Norwich’s greatest moments of the year while a man with a deep voice reads out something poignant and heartfelt.
Please welcome Puppet Man.
Cue music (and dancing).
“What a 2012 it has been for Canaries supporters. Norwich City started 2012 riding high in tenth place in the Premier League with 22 points after 19 games.
“As it stands currently they are eighth with 25 points from 17 games.
“In 2012 so far they have played 36 league games, winning 13, drawing 11 and losing 12. If that was over a season they would have 50 points with two games to play and probably pushing for a top 10 position, maybe even Europe.
“Add in the cup games and we have witnessed 43 games, winning 18, drawing 11 and losing 14.
“At this same stage last year our record was played 42, winning 19, drawing 15 and losing 10.
“To have such a good record after losing Paul Lambert is simply remarkable and would have been beyond the wildest dreams of even the most optimistic of fans when Chris Hughton was named.
“But what a job Hughton is doing. While his style of play may be more defensively geared-up than his predecessor, the football Norwich are still managing to produce is at times scintillating.
“Under Lambert in 2012, highlights included the swashbuckling 2-1 victory away to Spurs and an entertaining 3-3 draw with Arsenal.
“With Hughton in charge the results have been no less impressive, particularly victories over Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester United and Swansea.
“Such has been the success supporters are now dreaming of a top ten finish, possibly Europe. Keep playing this way and it might just happen.”
On to the awards...
• YOUNG SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: To present this award a player who won it previously after he became the ninth youngster in a row dubbed the ‘next Chris Sutton’, Adrian Coote.
We’ve not seen a true star emerge from the academy in recent seasons, so this award goes to anyone aged 24 or under. And our winner is, winger Anthony Pilkington, a strike rate of 11 goals from just 48 games shows what a positive impact he’s had.
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: To present this award, a man who knew all about the importance of building a team, as long as it was made up of someone else’s, Glenn Roeder.
And there can only be one winner – the Norwich City Football Club players and coaching staff. You’ve done us proud.
• MOMENT OF THE YEAR: To present this award, a man who enjoyed a real ‘moment’ at Norwich City (it was his only goal), Dean Coney.
And the winner is, that man Anthony Pilkington again for his stupendous header to put the Canaries 1-0 up against Manchester United.
• GOAL OF THE YEAR: Presenting this award is another player from Norwich’s rich striking history. All the way from Hungary, Goran Maric.
As an illustration of the fact it isn’t only Swansea who can play decent football, the winner is that 29-pass move against Sunderland, which ended up in a goal from that man again, Anthony Pilkington.
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: To present this award, a couple who have dedicated years of their lives to entertaining the crowds at Carrow Road, Razz the Clown and Auntie Pearl. And the award goes to another couple who deserve so much credit for where Norwich are now – Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones.
• DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR: Two previous winners to present this. The collapse of a transfer led Martin O’Neil to walk out on the club in a dispute with chairman Robert Chase. But now the pair are reunited for the first time here tonight. This award is to be presented to Paul Lambert, who unfortunately couldn’t be here to receive it. While everyone knew he’d leave sooner or later, the manner of his exit continues to be a sorry state of affairs.
• NORWICH CITY SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR: A very special guest to hand this one out and a real cult favourite after starting the demise of the club’s Suffolk rivals. Please welcome Mr Personality himself – Roy Keane (Keane enters stage left Gangnam-style).
We have a top three for this one. In third place Anthony Pilkington. In second place Wes Hoolahan, at the heart of so much of our forward play. However, there can only be one winner. Despite some problems over his contract in the summer, this man continues to be the pulsing heart on the pitch. His goals may have proven harder to come by this season, but his importance to the team cannot be under-estimated. The winner is the one and only Grant Holt.
And that wraps up the Norwich City Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012. Cue more emotive music as Holt’s best moments in 2012 are played out while Roy Keane scowls at him, the camera and the audience.
Apologies if this column is rather surreal. I’m sleep deprived having become a dad for the first time last Wednesday. This column is in tribute to Norwich City’s newest fan Freddie Gareth Michael Powles and his fantastic mum Kim.
• The shocking scenes during and after the recent Manchester derby have been on the cards for a while. As I have said before, the anger and hatred some fans seem able to muster is at times disturbing. One way I’d try to stop some of these problems is by having more police and stewards visibly filming sections of the crowd. Making it obvious people will get caught may make some think again.
• It wasn’t just the overall result that was disappointing about last week’s 4-1 defeat to Villa in the Capital One Connect Cup. After David McNally agreed to keep prices at £25, it was disappointing we, the fans, didn’t get behind the team more. Once Norwich were 2-1 down it felt like people were resigned to defeat. Fortunately the atmosphere at Wigan, along with some brilliant retro player songs, was much improved. Why no ‘Efan Ekoku’ though?
• No doubt one regret Darren Huckerby has is that his Norwich City career didn’t end in a more positive manner than it did. He has a certain Mr Roeder to thank for that. But has he been busy honing his goalkeeping skills and changing his identity in a bid to return to the club? Check out pictures of him and ‘Mark Bunn’ if you haven’t already noticed the similarities between the pair.
• While on the subject of lookalikes I was rather taken by Anthony Pilkington’s hairdo in post-match interviews after Wigan. I couldn’t work out if he was attempting to mimic Jedward or, more obscurely perhaps, the classic Harry Enfield Double Take Brothers.